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Telecoms set to boom in sub-Saharan Africa

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Sub-Saharan Africa’s telecoms service market will be worth $51-billion in 2021 and the retail telecoms revenue in SSA will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4,1% during 2015-2021.
This is according to a new Analysys Mason report, “Sub-Saharan Africa telecoms market: trends and forecasts 2016-2021”, discussed here by senior analyst Karim Yaici.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s telecoms service market will be worth $51-billion in 2021 (up from $41 billion in 2015):
* Mobile services will represent more than 88.4% of the telecoms service revenue in 2021. This will be driven by population growth, expansion into rural areas and a high demand for mobile data services.
* Mobile voice will remain a key revenue contributor, and both connections and traffic will increase, but there will be greater commoditisation and bundling of voice minutes.

Mobile handset data services will be the largest source of retail revenue growth in Sub-Saharan Africa between 2015 and 2021, contributing with $8-billion:
* The increased availability of low cost smartphones, improved coverage of 3G and deployment of 4G networks are driving the demand for data connectivity and the development of innovative digital services.
* 2G will remain the predominant technology in sub-Saharan Africa while 3G’s share of connections will increase to 38% in 2021, but 4G will account for only 7% of total mobile connections in 2021.

Investment in fixed-wireless and fibre technologies will help to drive the adoption of fixed broadband:
* The number of broadband connections in Sub-Saharan Africa will increase from 6-million in 2015 to nearly 10-million in 2021, but this represents an overall penetration rate of only 4,2% of households, mainly because of the lack of reliable and affordable fixed broadband options.
* Government-led national broadband plans, coupled with operators’ investment in fibre networks and fixed wireless technologies such as TD-LTE, will boost coverage. These plans have already helped to improve broadband adoption in markets such as Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa.